Lotus brings F1 to the Philippines for the first time

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Lotus brought an F1 car to the Philippines for the first time last weekend, performing a demonstration run in the country’s capital Manila.

Marlon Stockinger performed hop laps and donuts in the team’s R30 car (which competed in F1 as a Renault) at the Mall of Asia in the city.

Stockinger, 22, was born in Manila and holds joint Filipino-Swiss nationality. He joined Lotus’s young driver program in February.

“To be here and to drive a Formula One car on the streets of Manila is definitely a historic moment,” said Stockinger. “It’s actually the first time ever that a Formula One car has been driven in the Philippines and it’s really cool to be able to bring it here.”

“I’d say honestly I’m quite speechless,” he added. “I never in my life would have expected to be able to drive a Formula One car here, only literally ten minutes down the road from where I grew up.”

“If I had said it to myself when I was a young boy that I’d be able to do that, I’m not sure I would ever have believed it, so to sum it up; it’s a dream come true.”

Lotus’s third driver Davide Valsecchi also joined in the event, driving the team’s two-seater car.

FIA returns Manor’s F1 entry fee for 2017

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Good news: Manor Grand Prix Racing Limited got a refund of an entry fee it paid to the FIA to run in this year’s F1 season.

Bad news: Manor still hasn’t run this year, and won’t be for the foreseeable future (especially as Manor’s former leadership staff is moving that team into FIA WEC’s new-look LMP1 class in addition to its LMP2 program).

Manor Group’s receivership outfit, Just Racing Services Limited, went into administration earlier this year. As there was no new buyer for the F1 team, Manor dropped from the 2017 grid before the season.

The FIA said it would return its entry fee to help Manor Group pay off outstanding debts.

It basically means nothing in the grand scheme of things since Manor missed out on 10th place in the constructor’s standings in 2016 and fell from the F1 grid as a result, but hey, it’s a goodwill gesture going into Thanksgiving this week.